On Article 36, dealing with signature, the Chair said it refers to Article 305 of the Convention and that certain procedures outlined may need to be simplified to deal with the circumstances of this Agreement. This also applies to references in Articles 37 and 38. Iceland stated that Article 36 should say "shall be open" instead of "shall remain open". The EU agreed with the Chair regarding the simplification of procedures. Regarding Article 39, Entry into force, the Chair stated this is related to the question of provisional application, and some delegations think the number of necessary instruments of ratification is too high. It has been suggested that twenty might be better. Argentina supported the use of twenty instruments of ratification. Chile, supported by the EU, Mexico, Japan, Uruguay, Colombia, the Republic of Korea, China, and Poland, disagreed, stating that the number of ratifications reflects the strength of the Agreement, and should not be reduced for an artificial entry into force. These delegates preferred that between forty and sixty instruments of ratification be required. Peru, supported by New Zealand, the US, Papua New Guinea, Canada, Iceland, Indonesia, Norway, Micronesia, and the Russian Federation supported Argentina, saying that the goal should be the speediest entry into force.
On Article 40, dealing with provisional application, Canada stated that the period of six months is too long, and that the article should urge rapid application. The EU, supported by Thailand and Uruguay, said this article creates problems in terms of constitutional and parliamentary procedures and cannot be adopted as is. Peru, supported by Argentina, noted the article allows for "States that sign..." and those which "notify". He stated this allows for safeguards against the concerns of obligation, and it should be accepted. The Russian Federation, referring to subparagraph (a), asked if official approval would take place here or in the General Assembly. The Chair clarified that final adoption is when the States consent to the adoption. The US, supported by Uruguay, Iceland, Poland and Chile, suggested that the article should compel States to make a clear statement that they will be applying provisions, and said he could provide language for this proposal if necessary.
Papua New Guinea, Australia and the Solomon Islands supported paragraph 2, but Indonesia suggested deleting paragraph 2 and Japan rejected all provisional application. The Chair said that a decision on Articles 39 and 40 will not be taken now, but smaller groups will continue negotiations.
Article 41, Reservations and exceptions; Article 42, Declarations and statements; and Article 43, Relation to other agreements, were accepted without amendment. Article 44, Amendment, was accepted with the specification "of the United Nations" to follow "Secretary-General." Article 45, Denunciation; Article 46, Status of Annexes; Article 47, Depositary; and Article 48, Authentic texts, were accepted without change. The Chair reviewed changes to Annex 1 discussed in informal sessions, and stated he would issue text piecemeal while awaiting the official version. He added that Articles 14, 21, 29, 30 and 31 are still pending.
Responding to questions concerning the adoption process, the Chair stated his intent that the Conference would adopt the text Friday and submit it to the General Assembly. Following further questions, he stated that this issue would be discussed today.
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